Boys, feelings, bullying and redemption in “Luke and Jon”
Every very now and again, I come across a completely enveloping book where I’m drawn into its shadowed world.
I’m reminded of two things in this luminous book:
1. Boys don’t like to talk much about feelings (although they feel deeply all the same). My son will right on with that one. So different from growing up in a family of girls. Dealing with boys in a straight-forward and concise way is likely to be much more successful. I will be making a real effort to do that this year with my 8th graders. Mind you, this book is set in the north of England where being taciturn is considered a compliment.
2. Bullying is often unseen by teachers and is astonishingly vicious, subtle and cruel. Worse even than I remember from school. Within the story is an example of a school that did not tolerate it, with the relief the protagonist felt.
I liked being taken back to being that middle school child, and loved the descriptions, the stream of consciousness narrative and best of all, the allegory of a white horse sculpture that the widowed dad carved and erected in a forest far from anywhere so that a lost hiker might one day see it and think they were dreaming a miracle. Like a lit Christmas tree in a wasteland.
You’ll need something to wind down with after a day of planning for opening school: Here’s the link to “Luke and Jon” by Robert Williams.